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Palm Oil Company Clears Rainforest in Papua

July 29, 2014

http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0729-anjt-palm-oil-new-guinea.html
Tuesday 29 July 2014 11:16am WIB (JoyoNews3)

Mongabay By Rhett A. Butler

An Indonesian Stock Exchange-listed company whose commissioner is a member of The Nature Conservancy-Indonesia s board has been clearing dense rainforest in New Guinea, finds a new report from Greenomics-Indonesia.

The report, titled <http://www.greenomics.org/docs/ANJ-clearance-Papua-forest_(LowRes).pdf>‘Busy years’ ahead until 2017: Spending US 12 million on clearing Papua’s intact forest landscapes", is based on analysis of data from Global Forest Watch, NASA satellites, Indonesia s Ministry of Forestry, and company documents. It finds that two recently acquired subsidiaries of PT Austindo Nusantara Jaya Tbk (ANJT) ­ PT Permata Putera Mandiri (PPM) and PT Putera Manunggal Perkasa (PMP) ­ have cleared forest in South Sorong and Maybrat Regencies, located in West Papua Province, the Indonesia-controlled part of the island of New Guinea. While the clearing was conducted legally, it appears to have taken place in forests that would be off-limits for conversion under new voluntary "zero deforestation" commitments established by companies that buy from ANJT.

ANJT acquired PPM and PMP in January 2013. Both companies had permits to convert lands that include areas classified by the World Resources Institute as "intact forest landscapes." According to Greenomics, roughly two-thirds of the 57,571 hectares of concessions held by the two companies consist of such forests. The companies then secured $12 million in loans to finance plantation development.

While authorities in Indonesia regularly grant licenses to clear forests for oil palm plantations, ANJT s customers ­ including Wilmar, which recently made a "zero deforestation commitment", and several companies associated with the "Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto" ­ put it in a more sensitive position, which is made more delicate by ANTJ commissioner George Tahija s association with TNC-Indonesia, an arm of international conservation giant TNC.

"[On] one hand George Tahija is a member of the TNC Indonesia Chapter Advisory Board and the TNC Asia Pacific Council, while on the other hand he also serves as a commissioner of a company whose 2013 annual report contains a photograph showing land clearance work on intact forest landscapes in Papua for the purpose of developing new palm oil plantations," states the report. "TNC has special access to George Tahija and accordingly it can play a role in communicating the practices of ANJT’s two subsidiaries in continuing to clear intact forest landscapes."

In response, TNC called Tahija "a valued member" of its Indonesia Program’s Board of Advisors and its Asia Pacific Council.

"In these capacities Mr. Tahija has been an effective conservation ambassador and advisor," TNC told Mongabay.com.

The organization went on to add that it is working with palm oil companies in a district-level initiative "to demonstrate that palm oil development can be done in a responsible manner at scale"

"The results of the work will include increased capacity of district governments, tools and approaches for improved corporate and community practices, provincial level socio-economic and environmental analysis and policy dialogue to inform sustainable oil palm development, and policy recommendations on jurisdictional program development and implementation," TNC said.

ANJT is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an eco-certification initiative that requires companies to abide by certain social and environmental criteria when opening up new lands for plantations. In this case, the Greenomics report shows that ANJT has clearly failed to abide by those rules, a point admitted by the company in a response emailed to Mongabay.com.

"We however admit that as an RSPO member the New Planting requirements were not adhered to and thus an infringement has occurred," said Sucipto Maridjan, the company s External Affairs Director. "In view of this, all activities have been suspended on site and we are now entering into the NPP process."

"PMP will also undertake a voluntary Land Use Change Analysis to confirm any wrong doing and if necessary progress into a Remediation and Compensation exercise as required by RSPO. Further to this, we will also be reassessing the site for HCV reconfirmation and High Carbon Stock (HCS) presence."

ANJT, which noted that its activities are fully compliant with Indonesian law and have undergone a high conservation value (HCV) assessment by RSPO-approved assessors, however wasn t ready to say whether it would meet the emerging zero deforestation commitments from Wilmar and the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto companies.

"ANJ is fully committed to achieving the requirements of the RSPO P&C through continuous improvement. Although we are aware of the existence of Wilmar’s No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy and the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto Standard we are still reviewing these ancillary requirements and are of the opinion that most of these requirements are already embedded within the RSPO P&C. We reiterate that RSPO certification will be our main focus at this point in time and leaving all options open."

Indonesian New Guinea has the largest extent of natural forest cover and the lowest deforestation rate of any major land mass in the country. Nonetheless environmentalists fear that Papua and West Papua could become the next frontier for oil palm development in Indonesia.

Human Rights Abuses in Papua and West Papua

July 29, 2014

16 July 2014

download this declaration edited as PDF <www.watchindonesia.org/Vivat.pdf>

Human Rights Abuses in Papua and West Papua

We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned about the serious and ongoing violations of Human Rights that are taking place with impunity in the easternmost provinces of
Indonesia Papua and West Papua. The violations of Human Rights have been well-documented (i) and have been brought to the attention of Indonesia during the second round of the
UPR process. Thirteen nations made recommendations to Indonesia with regard to the obligation to respect human rights in Papua and West Papua (ii).

In 1963 the UN Temporary Executive Authority transferred the administration of Papua to Indonesia. In 1969 Indonesia incorporated Papua through the UN sponsored plebiscite of the
so-called "Act of Free Choice". Since the beginning of its administration of Papua, Indonesia has committed very serious violations of human rights, similar to those that took place in nearby Timor-Leste (iii). The actions of the Free Papua Movement (Organisasi Papua Merdeka, or OPM) that was founded in 1965 to pursue autonomy, although normally non-violent, have occasionally been violent. The presence of small groups of armed resistance who have made occasional attacks have been used by the Indonesian Police, National Army, Intelligence Services and paramilitary forces as a justification for periodic massacres, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, torture and collective punishment. Additionally, villages have been destroyed and whole communities have been forced to resettle with practical impunity.

The ongoing repression of human rights, in Papua includes the passing of laws that suppress freedom of the press, freedom of speech and association. Peaceful demonstrations are dispersed by force. In many instances non-violent participants have been arrested and tortured, while others have been killed. Many prisoners have died while in detention. According to data from Papuans Behind Bars, the number of political arrests has more than doubled in 2013 as compared with the previous year. Reports of torture and ill treatment of political detainees have also increased. Violations of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are ongoing (iv)

Policies have been initiated that have made indigenous Papuans disproportionately suffer. Tribal lands have been confiscated; natural resources have been exploited by non-Papuans.
From the 1970s Indonesia has also encouraged the large scale transmigration of settlers from other parts of the Indonesian Archipelago to Papua. Nearly 80% of the indigenous
people now live in poverty without access to medical care, safe drinking water or education.

Prior to the annexation of Papua in 1969, Indonesia began to negotiate with multinational corporations allowing them access to large tracts of lands to carry out mining, logging,
petroleum and gas operations, and to create industrial palm oil plantations. The expropriation of indigenous land has provoked peaceful protests that are often repressed by means that violate their human rights.

We urge the Government of Indonesia to implement the recommendations that Indonesia accepted at its Periodic Review (v) with regard to respecting human rights in Papua and
West Papua, and to also reconsider the recommendations that Indonesia rejected.

We make the following recommendations to the Government of Indonesia:

Repeal or amend the articles of the Indonesian Criminal Code that have been used to criminalize freedom of expression (e.g., Articles 106 and 110) to bring them in line with international human rights standards.

Release all individuals detained or imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of opinion, belief, expression and association, and to expunge any criminal records based on prosecution for such activities.

Publicly commit to respect the right of all people to peacefully and freely express their opinions and beliefs and to exercise freedom of association.

To Commission independent investigations into the many allegations of human rights violations in the past in Papua and West Papua. The investigations should be comprehensive based on all the evidence available. The results should be published and made available to local and international media.

Prosecute individuals against whom there is sufficient evidence of having committed serious violations of human rights in the Indonesia Permanent Human Rights Court.
Ratify and implement the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and to harmonize all relevant Indonesian legislation into conformity with this protocol and the Convention itself.

Endorse Komnas HAM and other independent human rights bodies to investigate all reports of torture and other ill treatment of people in Papua over the last two years.

Ensure that the standards established by Indonesian law regarding prison conditions and the treatment of prisoners are met, and to bring the Indonesian standards into line with the UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners.

Issue a standing invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, as well as other special Rapporteurs who focus on other human rights, to visit Papua and West Papua, with unhindered access.

Immediately respond to the request of Papuans for dialogue to find a long-term peaceful solution for the ongoing conflicts in Papua.

i For example, Human Rights in West Papua 2013, Franciscans International and Human Rights and Peace for Papua-ICP
(www.humanrightspapua.org/images/docs/HumanRightsPapua2013-ICP.pdf);
Amnesty International’s Papua Digest (http://www2.amnesty.org.uk/sites/default/files/amnesty_international_papua_digest_29-01-2011.pdf).

ii UPR, 13th Session in 2012, Recommendations and Pledges (
http://www.uprinfo.org/sites/default/files/document/indonesia/session_13_-_may_2012/recommendationstoindonesia2012.pdf )

Cf. A/HRC/21/7. (http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session21/A-HRC-217_en.pdf). New Zealand, Germany, Canada, France, Republic of

Korea, Japan , Mexico, Australia , Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Italy and Norway made direct recommendations regarding Papua and West Papua. Those
that were accepted by Indonesia are #108.42, 108.91, 108.95, 108.114, 108.115, 109.10. Among the recommendations that were not accepted by Indonesia are some that refer to
respecting Human Rights in Papua/West Papua, such as: 109.15, 109.25, 109.30, 109.33. VIVAT International believes that the rejected recommendations remain valid benchmarks
for the Implementation of Human Rights, even if Indonesia formally rejected them as recommendations.

iii Cf. UN Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/97 (http://ap.ohchr.org/documents/alldocs.aspx?doc_id=4187)

iv Cf. Human Rights in West Papua, the third report of Human Rights and Peace for Papua – the International Coalition for Papua (ICP) covering events from October 2011 until March
2013, published by ICP and Franciscans International, in June 2013; Amnesty International, Annual Report 2013 on Indonesia
(http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/indonesia/report-2013); Indonesia: Stalled Reforms: Impunity, Discrimination and Security Force Violations in Indonesia — Amnesty

International Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, May-June 2012
(http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA21/003/2012/en/10658fe3-4d18-4101-9039-374f7c93e635/asa210032012en.pdf )

v UPR, 13th Session in May 2012 (A/HRC/21/7).

Submitted by:

VIVAT International

With the support of:

Franciscans International
Salesian Missions

Endorsed by:

1. Augustinians International
2. Congregations of St. Joseph
3. Christian Solidarity Worldwide
4. East Timor and Indonesia Action Network
5. Foundation Pro Papua
6. Human Rights and Peace for Papua – The International Coalition for Papua (ICP)
7. Int’l Presentation Association of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8. JPIC Kalimantan– Indonesia
9. JPIC OFM – Indonesia
10. PADMA Indonesia
11. Papuan Voices
12. Passionists International
13. Pax Romana Asia Pasifik
14. Pax Romana ICMICA/MIIC
15. Pazifik Netzwerk
16. Predikant
17. Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries
18 .TAPOL
19. The Grail
20. VIVAT International-Indonesia
21. Watch Indonesia!
22. West Papua Netzwerk
23. Yayasan Pusaka

<>

Tabloid Jubi: President Issues Permit to Discuss Bill on Special Autonomy

July 25, 2014

http://tabloidjubi.com/en/?p=2942
Friday 25 July 2014 9:52am WIB (JoyoNews3)

Tabloid Jubi

Jayapura – A presidential advisor on regional autonomy, Velix Wanggai, said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has issued a letter that could pave the way for passage of the Government Special Autonomy Bill.

“The President has issued the permit to Parliament and is currently run by the Home Ministry” Felix Wanggai told reporters in Jayapura, Papua on Wednesday (16/7).

The bill will soon be discussed by the House of Representatives. “Because it was not included in the 2014 National Legislation Program, the President issued a permit” he said.

According to him, currently the Ministry of the Interior has conducted inter-ministerial meetings and had been run for over a month to discuss the draft of the 14th of Papua and West Papua on January 28, 2014.

The Home Ministry was a facilitator and the bill has been incorporated to the ministry and is currently being taken by the Minister of Internal Affairs Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to do the level of harmonization and synchronization.

“We hope that in three weeks there would be harmonization at the level of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. After that in early August it would be entered in the trial period of the Parliament to be discussed,“ he said.

He added that the president will end his term in October and is taking full attention to the bill.

“President Yudhoyono hopes there would be a new foundation for Papua in the context of accelerated development, of institutional strengthening in Papua and political reconciliation in Papua, public participation in government and other Papuan development sectors,” he said.

Earlier, chairman of tWest Papua People’s Assembly, David Meisiro said, the Draft Law has long been thought by both the Governor of Papua and West Papua Governor.

“So, I hope that under the umbrella of Papua’s Special Autonomy, which includes the Papua Province of Papua and West Papua would have a better future,” he said.

AHRC in Indonesia: Human Rights Challenges Await Indonesia Next President

July 24, 2014

AHRC in Indonesia: Human Rights Challenges Await Indonesia Next President
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-142-2014
Wednesday 23 July 2014 6:03pm WIB (JoyoNews3)

The Asian Human Rights Commission

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) welcomes the official announcement by the General Election Commission (Komisi Pemilihan Umum, KPU) of the result of the Presidential Election on Thursday, 22 July 2014. After counting and recapitulating the votes cast by Indonesians on 9 July 2014 for about three weeks, the Committee finally declared Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla to be the country’s next President and Vice President, respectively. Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla earned 70,997,833 votes in total – around 8 million more than what their rivals, Prabowo Subianto and Hatta Rajasa, earned.

Jokowi – the popular name of Joko Widodo – has a better human rights profile than Prabowo, who is the former General of the Indonesian National Special Army (Kopassus). Prabowo has been reported to be responsible for the abduction of activists in 1998, which later led to his dismissal from the Army in the same year. There have also been reports indicating the ex-general’s involvement in the massacres which claimed thousands of lives in East Timor in the early ‘80s. Despite the serious allegations, Prabowo has never been criminally prosecuted and punished.

Whereas it is relieving that the next president of Indonesia is not a figure associated with gross human rights abuse, the AHRC notes that Jokowi’s commitment to human rights is yet to be tested. The upcoming five-year administration will be the real test for the former mayor of Solo and the non-active governor on Jakarta, on whether he will really uphold and respect human rights, as promised in his statement of vision and missions.

Aware of Prabowo’s poor track record in human rights, Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla repeatedly promised in their campaign to find a just settlement for past human rights abuses such as the abduction of activists in 1998, the May 1998 riots, the purge of the “communists” in 1965, as well as the shootings of student activists in the cases of Trisakti-Semanggi 1 and 2.

The AHRC emphasises that the promised “just settlement” should involve criminal investigation of the abuses as well as proportionate criminal punishment of the responsible individuals. It should also involve the provision of full remedy for the victims, including disclosure of the truth to the public. The AHRC calls for such “just settlement” to be applied consistently and without any preference, even in cases that might implicate the figures supporting the candidacy of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla. Amongst such figures is a retired General Wiranto, who was named by the citizen’s tribunal as the person responsible for the massacre in Biak, West Papua, on 6 July 1998. The retired general has also been reported to be involved in the human rights abuses perpetrated by the military in East Timor, while the province was in the process of gaining independence from Indonesia in 1999.

Also a supporter of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla presidential election is the former Chief of the State Intelligent Agency (BIN), Hendropriyono. The US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks in 2011 pointed out Hendropriyono’s involvement in the assassination of a prominent human rights activist Munir, who was poisoned to death in 2004.

Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla promise to put an end to impunity by revising the current Military Tribunal Law. Although welcoming such commitment, the AHRC believes that the anti-impunity message will not be properly realized unless criminal investigation and punishment for individuals responsible for serious human rights abuses take place.

The AHRC looks forward to witnessing the fulfilment of Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla’s promises to abolish discriminatory regulations, to guarantee the enjoyment of freedom of religion, and to take legal steps against the perpetrators of religion-based violence. We are expecting the joint ministerial decree banning the religious activities of the Ahmadi to be one of the first regulations to be abolished, in compliance with the recommendations from various countries during Indonesia’s Universal Periodic Review at the UN in 2012. At the time of its enactment in 2008 the joint decree had the support of Jusuf Kalla who was then a Vice President. Jusuf Kalla was also a supporter of the 2006 regulation which imposes overly burdensome requirements for the minorities to establish houses of worships.

It is our hope that, in his second administration as Vice President, Jusuf Kalla will be more tolerant and supportive of the religious minorities in Indonesia, in accordance with his promise during the campaign to guarantee every individual’s right to freedom of religion.

An important human rights issue, the abuses in West Papua, appears to have been left out of the campaign of Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla. The AHRC is hoping that the failure of the President-elect to discuss the matter does not reflect his intention to continue Indonesia’s current policy on West Papua, which is mainly the use of militaristic approach to respond to the ongoing conflict in the region. We are calling for the end of this approach, and for the new administration of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla to prioritise a constructive dialogue with the people of West Papua. The AHRC further demands the upcoming administration of Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla to put an end to the isolation of West Papua, and to give access for international journalists to the region.

The AHRC congratulates Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla on their victory in a democratic presidential election. We will continue scrutinising the human rights situation in Indonesia under their leadership, and will not stop insisting that they address the human rights challenges that remain to be resolved.

A Farewell to the New Order With Jokowi?

July 23, 2014

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/farewell-new-order-jokowi/

A Farewell to the New Order With Jokowi?

By Erwida Maulia on 11:30 pm Jul 23, 2014
Category Featured, News, Politics
Tags: Joko Widodo Jokowi, New Order, Prabowo Subianto, Suharto

Jakarta. Joko Widodo’s victory in Indonesia’s presidential election has inspired fresh hope that the country can finally resolve human rights abuses that have gone unaddressed for decades, as well as sweep away all vestiges of the New Order era that continue to pervade the government and politics.

For many observers, Jokowi, as the country’s soon-to-be seventh president is popularly known, represents the best break from Indonesia’s dark past because he was never a part of the New Order.

Jokowi, 53, was born into a low-income family and raised in the sleepy Central Java town of Solo, before getting into business making and selling wood furniture.

He only entered politics in 2005 — seven years after the fall of the strongman Suharto, the architect of the New Order — when he ran for mayor of Solo and won, with the support of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, or PDI-P, which was long the thorn in the New Order’s side.

He was re-elected in 2010 with more than 90 percent of the vote, before leaving mid-office to run for governor of Jakarta in 2012. Two short years and a media frenzy later, Jokowi has been named the winner of the 2014 presidential election.

That history, observers say, is tellingly clear of any ties with the New Order — unlike the track record of his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, who was a military general under Suharto and was even married to the dictator’s daughter until 1998.

During his time in the military, Prabowo commanded the Army Special Forces, or Kopassus, a feared killing squad, and later the Army Strategic Reserves, or Kostrad, before being discharged for his involvement in the abduction of pro-democracy activists who had been agitating for Suharto’s resignation.

But his checkered human rights record began much earlier, with allegations of involvement in the killings of civilians in the then-occupied territory of East Timor.

“Jokowi doesn’t have past burdens, like Prabowo; he’s not among alleged perpetrators of human rights abuses,” Asvi Marwan Adam, a historian at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, or LIPI, tells the Jakarta Globe.

“He also doesn’t give promises [of political posts] to members of his coalition — unlike the case with Prabowo and SBY [President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono],” he adds.

“With Jokowi as president, there’s a bigger possibility that we can finally resolve the human rights abuses of the past, and I certainly hope he will be able to settle them.”

Asvi says it helps that Jokowi’s PDI-P, whose chairwoman, Megawati Soekarnoputri, Sukarno’s daughter, was in the opposition during the New Order’s 32-year rule.

The same cannot be said of Prabowo, whose biggest coalition partner is the Golkar Party — Suharto’s very own political vehicle, whose ranks are still studded with holdovers from the dictator’s era.

Not the package

But many of the key people Jokowi has surrounded himself with do have links to the New Order, says Bonnie Triyana, the founder of Historia magazine.

Most notable among them is Jokowi’s running mate, Jusuf Kalla, who chaired Golkar from 2004 to 2009. There is also Wiranto, the chairman of the People’s Conscience Party, or Hanura, a coalition partner, who served as the last military chief of staff under Suharto.

Other Suharto-era generals, long since retired, have flocked around Jokowi, including A.M. Hendropriyono, a former head of the State Intelligence Agency, or BIN, who has been accused of, but never charged over, a deadly military crackdown on civilian protesters in Talangsari, Lampung, in 1989.

Also in Jokowi’s inner circle are the Wanandi brothers, Jusuf and Sofjan, prominent businessmen who owed their fortunes to their close ties with the Suharto regime.

“As an individual, Jokowi is relatively clean compared with other leaders,” Bonnie says. “He’s also spoken about how he wants to solve the case of the disappearance of Wiji Tukul, who was also from Solo.”

Wiji, a poet, was among 13 pro-democracy activists kidnapped in the unrest that led to Suharto’s resignation in 1998. He has never been seen since.

“But looking at the people behind Jokowi,” Bonnie goes on, “and given that political horse-trading is inevitable in a democracy like ours, it will be difficult” to cut all ties with the New Order.

Arguably the most serious of the past abuses that Jokowi will be expected to address is the purge from 1965-66 of suspected members and sympathizers of the Indonesian Communist Party, or PKI, in which up to a million people were estimated to have been killed.

The Yudhoyono has categorically refused to open an inquiry into the matter (the president’s late father-in-law, Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, was one of the military generals who led the pogrom), and school textbooks continue to propagate the lie that the communists had to be exterminated because they had attempted a coup to unseat then-president Sukarno.

Independent historians agree that the PKI was simply a scapegoat for the military as it sought to wrest power from Sukarno.

“The new government and the state must be able to guarantee justice [...] including the resolution of past human rights abuses,” Bonnie says. “What important is the political will. It is important for the state to admit that there were past violations and to apologize for them.”

Both Bonnie and Asvi see Kalla as helping rather than hindering on this front, despite his association with Golkar.

“Although he was part of the New Order, he has been a proven peacemaker for Indonesia, mediating in conflicts in Aceh and Poso,” Asvi says.

Kalla is also expected to rally support from Golkar legislators, who will comprise the second-biggest bloc when the new House of Representatives goes into session in September, to help push through government programs and policies.

Bonnie notes that the New Order has left behind more than just unanswered rights abuse cases.

“Our perspective, the way we look at things, is still very much influenced by the New Order,” he says.

He cites the popular notion that Yudhoyono is a dithering and indecisive leader, pointing out that the corollary is that people feel nostalgic about what they perceive as Suharto’s strong leadership.

Prabowo has preyed on this sentiment, exploiting it to garner nearly half of all votes in the July 9 election.

“Since the fall of Suharto, our enemy is the New Order’s legacy,” Bonnie says. “Jokowi’s win, we hope, will change all that.”

Amnesty International – Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges

July 22, 2014

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

22 July 2014

Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges

Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said.

Widodo, who today was confirmed as winner of the 9 July presidential elections, has pledged to champion human rights during his time in the office – inncluding addressing serious past human rights abuses, protecting freedom of religion, reforming the police and opening up access to Papua for international observers.

"It’s encouraging that President Widodo has talked about his commitment to human rights during his election campaign – now he must deliver," said Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.

"The new government has the opportunity to turn a page to an era when human rights are genuinely respected in Indonesia. Widodo’s victory will have raised the hopes of many brave human rights activists and victims who have struggled against impunity for years – those hhopes must not be dashed."

"As a very first step, we urge the new administration to undertake a thorough assessment of Indonesia’s human rights record over the past decade and formulate a clear action plan. Crucially, this must be done together with civil society and other key actors."

Recommendations

In April 2014, Amnesty International published a human rights agenda for Indonesia’s next president, outlining eight pressing issues that must be top of the new administration’s agenda. (see http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA21/011/2014/en). These include:

Combat the climate of impunity for past crimes
The President should instruct the Attorney General Office to complete investigations in relation to crimes under international law, it has received from the National Human Rights Commission and other bodies and bring the perpetrators to justice. Further, a National Truth Commission should be established in line with international law and standards which can also recommend reparation measures to address the suffering of victims.

Respect for freedom of religion and religious tolerance
Respect for freedom of religion and religious tolerance have clearly deteriorated in recent years. The new administration should repeal all laws and regulations that discriminate against religious minorities which have been used to justify harassment and attacks against them.

Human rights abuses by the police
Amnesty International has documented a range of human rights violations committed by the police, including unlawful killings, torture and other ill-treatment and unnecessary or excessive use for force and firearms. Criminal investigations into human rights violations by the police are all too rare, leaving many victims without access to justice and reparations. The National Police Commission should be made operationally independent of the government, political influence and the police itself. Its mandate should empower it to, among other things, carry out effective investigations and refer cases directly to the Public Prosecutor.

Release prisoners of conscience
Dozens of prisoners of conscience, particularly those from Papua and Maluku, remain behind bars for their peaceful political activism in Indonesia, and must be immediately released. Their ongoing imprisonment highlights the continued lack of respect for freedom of expression in certain parts of Indonesia. Amnesty International also calls on President Widodo to allow free and unimpeded access to Papua for international observers, including NGOs and foreign journalists, as he promised during his visit to Papua during the election campaign.

Promote and protect human rights in ASEAN
Indonesia, which has the region’s highest GDP and hosts the Association of South East Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) headquarters in Jakarta, is quickly emerging as a leader in South East Asia. The country’s next president must take this role seriously and set an example for neighbours, and the world, on human rights. Indonesia has already played a positive role in setting up some key ASEAN human rights bodies since 2007 – this commitment must coontinue under the new administration in particularly to strengthen the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) to be a truly independent and robust body that protects as well as promote human rights in the region.

ENDS
Public document
****************************************
For more information please call Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on press

Link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/indonesia-new-president-widodo-must-make-good-human-rights-pledges-2014-07-

Jokowi named president-elect

July 22, 2014

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/07/22/jokowi-named-president-elect.html

Jokowi named president-elect

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Election Watch | Tue, July 22 2014, 9:41 PM

The General Elections Commission (KPU) announced the official final vote tally and named Joko "Jokowi" Widodo president-elect with a total vote of 70,997,833, or 53.15 percent, on Tuesday evening.

"The KPU declares candidate pair Joko Widodo-Jusuf Kalla as president-elect and vice president-elect," KPU chairman Husni Kamil Malik said at an official announcement broadcasted live on TV from the KPU headquarters in Central Jakarta on Tuesday evening.

During the announcement, KPU chairman Husni Kamil Malik said rival candidate Prabowo Subianto had garnered 62,576,444 votes, or 46.85 percent.

Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) chairman Muhammad also confirmed that the final vote tally result was equal with the agency’s data.

Husni said all KPU commissioners and candidate witnesses had signed the formal final result document. (gda/dic)

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